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First of all. Do your best to prevent being late for an interview! You can prevent this by doing the following:

  • Find the address a couple of days before the interview.
  • Put the address in Google Maps or in your GPS and look over the route you will take to the interview.
  • Take a drive the day before, preferably around the time of your interview, to find out where it is located exactly and approximately how long it takes you to get there.
  • Leave 15 minutes earlier than you think it will take you. Give yourself some leeway in case you run into traffic along the way.
  • Set your clothes out the night before. This way you won’t be late due to wardrobe indecisiveness and you will find out if your shirt needs to be ironed.

BUT we all know that “life happens.” If you are late for an interview:

  • If possible, call the workplace and inform them that you are sorry, but you are going to be late, and let them know your estimated time of arrival. If you are driving, pull over to make this phone call.
  • Don’t rush. Be safe. It’s better to be late than to never get there!
  • Don’t let being late kill your confidence. Take a couple deep breaths before you walk in!
  • When you arrive, don’t babble on about why you were late.
  • Don’t make excuses; take ownership and responsibility for being late.
  • Apologize and inform the interviewer that you realize you threw off his/or schedule.
  • Offer to make things better! Suggest that you are able to come back at a different time if it better fits the interviewers schedule.

Sometimes there are unprecedented circumstances that cause you to be late for an interview; employers should be understanding in these cases! Don’t lie about though. If you didn’t actually save a baby, remember that it is very unethical to claim you did.]

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Natalie Swanson – Marketing/Client Relations – Vision Staffing Solutions

June 28, 2012